5 Famous Vocal Fails of Great Vocalists

Even the greats have their off-days.

logo
Ultimate Guitar
5 Famous Vocal Fails of Great Vocalists
7

Everybody has bad days. Even the greatest vocalists in the history of rock may get sick and crack a note or two. Well, it's no surprise when you casually sing in a mirror-breaking falsetto. 

Here are 5 vocal fails of some of the greatest vocalists.

Ozzy Osbourne

Ozzy Osbourne's mighty falsetto cracks at 2:55 while performing "Crazy Train" live, but Randy Rhoads saves the situation with his masterful solo.

YouTube preview picture

Bruce Dickinson

Bruce Dickinson is usually known for nailing the live vocals but this surely was one of his worst nights as he failed hitting almost all the high notes during "Hallowed Be Thy Name".

YouTube preview picture

Rob Halford

Even Metal Gods sometimes show weakness. In this video, Rob performs Judas Priest classics 'Painkiller' as usual until 3:45 when his inner Donald Duck awakens. 

YouTube preview picture

Meat Loaf

Oh, Meat Loaf, how could one of the best voices in rock reduce to the voice of Homer Simpson?

YouTube preview picture

Maynard James Keenan

Maynard's screams sometimes can give Dio a run for his money, but this just wasn't his night. The voice of the half-naked Maynard cracked and he left the stage infuriated.

YouTube preview picture

44 comments sorted by best / new / date

    rightintwo
    My favourite has to be when James went full Scooby Doo in Ain't My Bitch (at 2:23)
    kevah94
    Could've used anything from around 03-04, those were James worst years :| But this one is indeed funny  
    SuicidexD
    I always giggle when I hear this. James was going through a rough time, but damn...
    Jazz1992
    It's incredible how Rob Halford managed to sound way better in the 2000s, 10 and more years after recording Painkiller, than he did practically just after the album came out.
    SCopeland24
    Years of living clean vs years of substance abuse before Painkiller was recorded. It takes time for your body to get use to being clean.
    sdbrown89
    Bruce's worst vocal performance is still better than the vast majority of vocalists best live performance, I swear his vocals send shivers up my spine at times....
    thenextkirk92
    You're missing Brent Hinds' pterodactyl impression when he had a throat infection 
    peppersghost08
    "EEEUUURGHHHHGHUUUUEEERRGRHGHGRGHHHEGGRGRGEHHHHEHG" - Brent Hinds, 2007 Seriously though, it's pretty incredible if you haven't heard it Jump to 8:15 for Circle of Cysquatch and behold the Brentodactyl
    JustStayDown90
    James Hetfield is my favorite voice in metal. That said, nothing from his 2004/2006 era?  By the way, I think he sounds great nowadays!
    soberdosis
    I mean, the outro/chorus reprise at the end of "No Leaf Clover" when he goes "then it COMES to bee that the soothing liight..." was pretty cringe-worthy imho. not saying he's a bad vocalist, he's my favorite but that's definitely one of his well-documented fails.
    JustStayDown90
    I agree. I have trouble enjoying their S&M performance as James uses too much autotune - there are undeniable isolated vocal tracks on Youtube.
    kevah94
    Yeah and that's kinda strange actually, if you watch other shows from 99 he's doing fine but all the S&M's he sound so "not good" :/ 
    AlexMacky
    I love when videos aren't time stamped. Watching a 13 minute video to hear Meatloaf miss a note is certainly how I wanted to spend my afternoon. 
    jgebhardt
    The most embarrassing thing about the Ozzy clip is those stage outfits.....Sarzo looks like a Power Ranger. 
    mfergel
    Why is David Lee Roth not on this list?????
    Soundwash22
    Because it would take to much space to post all his fails... and for the record I am very much a Van Halen fan, but David can be a bit rough - more of a showman than a vocalist live.  Which is fine.
    Weybl Himself
    Anyone wanting the real gold in Meatloaf's car crash of a performance just jump to 65. There really aren't words for what old Meat is going through there.
    Iommianity
    That definitely isn't Bruce's worst. Listen to Live After Death, he's all over the place throughout the entire set. He always had some trouble nailing the verse melody in Run to the Hills as well.
    d.sharpe1095
    Rob Stafford never had a great voice,
    axemagic
    Umm, who's he?
    d.sharpe1095
    Umm, pretty sure he's the guy from Iron Maiden. Someone doesn't know the Big 5. 
    axemagic
    Yeah, clearly you don't.
    Wisthler
    Hmm would Kamelot be famous enough to point out Roy's dissastrous performance at Wacken?